Thursday, April 16, 2015

Say What?

Part of the technique that CPS uses to influence the court and other parties is their choice of language. To understand how they do that requires awareness of the difference between "denotation" and "connotation".

Denotation is the strict definition of a word - the dictionary version. Connotation is the understanding that has developed about the meaning of that word over time, and it carries emotional weight.

A good example of the difference is in the comparison of the synonyms thin and gaunt. Although both words mean the same thing, the word gaunt conjures up images of emaciated, starving people - most likely victims of some type.

When you read carefully through the paperwork that is prepared by CPS (and presented to the court, the AFCs, and entered into CPS database records), caseworkers routinely use words that portray their own actions most favorably, and give the worst possible portrayal of the parents and families.

As an example, CPS caseworkers repeatedly used the word "paramour" to portray the relationship between Jon Massey and Ruby's mother.

By definition, paramour means "an illicit lover, especially of a married person" ( Even the dictionary definition these days includes the notion of "illegal" behavior, and the connotation of the word implies something sleazy and unsavory.

Yet the relationship was described by the two of them as "partners" and "domestic partners", and was referred to in the same terms by almost all their friends and family members. Even Ruby referred to Jon as her "step-father" (a description that doesn't match the implication of being "an illicit lover").

More to the point, neither of the two was married to anyone else, so the second part of the definition - implied in the first part - doesn't match. Their relationship extended far beyond being "lovers", the two shared household duties and expenses, and worked together to develop and maintain a positive family relationship - even when Ruby repeatedly thwarted their attempts to maintain reasonable guidelines and standards.

The use of the word "paramour" was a deliberate word choice by the caseworker(s) who prepared the paperwork - it was intended to cast the worst possible light on the two in order to prejudice the court (judge) and the AFCs to act against them. The word "paramour" minimized the relationship and portrayed it as being illegal.

Jon and Ruby's mother repeatedly objected to the word choice, and finally brought a dictionary to a meeting, pointed out the definition, and threatened a lawsuit based on defamation of character.

At that point, CPS revealed something very enlightening - the caseworker stated that they are given a "menu" of word choices in their computerized system as part of a database provided by the state. The caseworkers choose specific words and phrases based on what is available to them that best fits the situation.

When you examine carefully any documents prepared by CPS, the word choices are very informative - they imply use of physical violence when there was none (the word "forced" is often used), and whenever possible the words imply illegal behaviors - even when none exist. The intent is to influence the court and the AFCs from the onset to rule in favor of CPS and to demonize the parents and family members.

CPS is a firm advocate of "the pen is mightier than the sword" - when it can be used to their own benefit. Words can hurt, and an agency that is allegedly dedicated to supporting families deliberately uses word choices that harm or destroy family relationships.

Speak up against CPS - time to use your words to expose their corruption!

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